30+ Years of Freedom of Information Action

United States and Canada

Mar 12, 2007 | Briefing Book, FOIA Audit
Washington D.C., 12 March 2007 - Ten years after Congress enacted the Electronic Freedom of Information Act Amendments (E-FOIA), only one in five federal agencies actually complies with the law, according to a new survey released today during Sunshine Week by the National Security Archive. Passed in 1996 and effective in 1997, E-FOIA ordered federal agencies to post key records online, provide citizens with detailed guidance on making information requests, and use new information technology to publish information proactively.

Mar 7, 2007 | Briefing Book
Washington D.C., March 7, 2007 - The declassified documents introduced as evidence during the trial of Vice President Cheney's former chief of staff, Lewis "Scooter" Libby, provide an almost unprecedented window into Mr. Cheney's own role as the most powerful vice president in history, according to National Security Archive director Tom Blanton this morning on NPR's Morning Edition. To listen, click on http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=7750388 This posting also includes the actual documents discussed today.

Mar 1, 2007 | News
Washington DC, March 1, 2007 - Since 2001, the government has added five years of delay into the process of releasing presidential records, according to testimony delievered today by Archive executive director Thomas Blanton before the House Subcommittee on Information Policy, Census and National Archives. These are statistics from the Reagan Presidential Library - their official estimates of response times that they send to you when you request documents. The delay has risen from 18 months in 2001 to 78 months today.

Feb 14, 2007 | News
Washington DC, February 14, 2007 - National Security Archive General Counsel Meredith Fuchs today told the Subcommittee on Information Policy, Census, and National Archives of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform that, "problems [with the Freedom of Information Act system] will not be solved unless Congress mandates solutions." Ms. Fuchs recommended that Congress reform the FOIA to require better annual reporting and tracking of FOIA requests, citing examples of processing delays as long as 17 years and agency mismanagement or obstruction of requests causing delay.

Feb 7, 2007 | News
Washington DC, February 7, 2007 - The CIA's proposed new rule on Freedom of Information Act processing fees is likely to discourage FOIA requesters while imposing new administrative burdens both on the Agency and the public, according to formal comments filed with the CIA today by the National Security Archive of George Washington University. The Archive's general counsel, Meredith Fuchs, commented that, "Significant time, money, and other resources were spent by the CIA on fee disputes last year. One of those disputes involved the CIA's refusal to abide by a D.C.

Nov 24, 2006 | Briefing Book
Washington D.C., November 24, 2006 - On November 25, 1986, the biggest political and constitutional scandal since Watergate exploded in Washington when President Ronald Reagan told a packed White House news conference that funds derived from covert arms deals with the Islamic Republic of Iran had been diverted to buy weapons for the U.S.-backed Contra rebels in Nicaragua. In the weeks leading up to this shocking admission, news reports had exposed the U.S.

Nov 10, 2006 | Briefing Book
Washington D.C., November 10, 2006 - Bush administration nominee for Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates had a long career in government which showed a notable combination of ambition and caution, according to a new book by Archive senior analyst John Prados [Safe for Democracy: The Secret Wars of the CIA (Chicago: Ivan R. Dee, 2006)] which deals with Gates among its much wider coverage of the agency since its inception.

Oct 19, 2006 | News
Washington DC, October 19, 2006 - Today the National Security Archive responded to the "Attorney General's Report to the President Pursuant to Executive Order 13,392, Entitled 'Improving Agency Disclosure of Information'" by providing the Attorney General and Congress an assessment of some of the serious challenges not acknowledged in the Report and calling for congressional oversight hearings to make optimistic FOIA processing goals a reality.

Oct 10, 2006 | News
Washington DC, October 10, 2006 - One in four veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars are filing disability claims, according to records released by the U.S. Department of Veterans' Affairs (VA) under the Freedom of Information Act after nine months of denying their existence and posted today on the National Security Archive Web site.

Sep 20, 2006 | Briefing Book
Washington, DC, September 20, 2006 - On the thirtieth anniversary of the assassination of former Chilean ambassador Orlando Letelier and his American colleague Ronni Karpen Moffitt, the National Security Archive today called on the U.S. government to release all documents relating to the role of General Augusto Pinochet in the car bombing that brought terrorism to the capital city of the United States on September 21, 1976.

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